After two highly competitive five game series, we now have our WNBA Finals match-up. Game 1 tips off tonight and features the Seattle Storm against the Washington Mystics. Coaches should be tuning in, as both teams run some tremendous stuff offensively. Below is a breakdown of three sets to look for, which have been highly successful for both teams. Thank you to Ben Dull, from SplitThePost.com for providing all of the videos for this preview.
Storm – Flex Action (BLOB set)
This BLOB set involves Bird setting a flex screen for Stewart, then receiving a down screen.
Storm – “Horns Down”
The Storm have different Horns looks, but this ball screen that flows into a down screen is tough to guard in transition.
Storm – Empty side / Two Man Action
The Storm love to include Stewart in a “two man game,” on an empty side. They use DHOs, ball screens, and slips.
Mystics “Stagger Split Rip”
This set shows a double stagger, before a split, into a rip (rescreen) for the back cutter. Great counter to a traditional double stagger!
Mystics – “Zipper 15”
The Mystics use a zipper cut, to trigger this backscreen action with Toliver and Delle Donne. This is just one of the ways that the Mystics use a backscreen to get the basketball inside.
Mystics – “Drag Back STS”
This set uses a drag screen and throw back, to set up the screen-the-screener. Toliver shows a screen for Delle Donne, before she actually receives the screen for an open three.
Two actions that will be critical for both teams to figure out are the two-man game, with Stewart on the empty side. The Storm lead the WNBA in three point shooting, and that action puts the defense in a scramble situation. The Storm must be ready to guard the screening actions involving Toliver and Delle Donne. They use back screens, ball screens, and screen the screener actions to free up both players.
This blog will be re-posted on www.FastModelSports.com, with all set plays being diagrammed and available for download in the playbank. Look for this repost before Game 3.
When building your playbook for next season, some things to consider:
Do your sets have anything that make them easy to scout?
Do they all start from different formations?
Is it difficult to flow from the base offense into the sets?
Do they all use the same action? Do the sets lack versatility?
These are all challenges that coaches must consider, and do not realize until they face the best teams on their schedule. The “Elbow Series” below is an example of some sets that check all of the necessary boxes, which make them a solid addition to your playbook.
Do the sets all start from different formations? The Elbow Series always starts from a box set. Guards at the elbows, with the bigs on the blocks. This makes it difficult to defend, as there is no immediate giveaways for the defense. Below is the basic Elbow Action;
Is it difficult to flow from the base offense, into the sets?
The Elbow series is very easy to flow into, from any base offensive formation. Below is an example, using a 3-out, 4-out, and 5-out system.
Do the sets all use the same actions? The Elbow Series uses multiple actions. Some of these actions include back cuts, flare screens, screen-the-screener actions, Iverson cuts, screens for post-ups, and elevator screens.
Do the sets lack versatility?
The Elbow Series includes options to get a post touch, open 3-point shots, back door cuts, isolations, ball screens, and even a lob play.
The Elbow Series includes six set plays, with multiple options.